Northern Ireland news

Drumcree Orange protesters vow not to walk away

The annual Drumcree Parade has been banned from marching down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for the last 20 years. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker

A SENIOR Portadown Orangeman has vowed not to walk away from the long-running Drumcree dispute.

Marking the 20th anniversary of the protest, Darryl Hewitt, Portadown District Master, told Orange Order members that they will continue to "work hard" to achieve their "desire".

The Parades Commission has banned Orangemen from parading along the predominantly nationalist Garvaghy Road since 1998.

Every Sunday, members from the district hold a protest against the decision.

Darryl Hewitt, Portadown Orange Order district master. Picture by Arthur Allison

Mr Hewitt said on Sunday: "Once again it is an emphatic no, hardly surprising from the non-Parades Commission.

"Indeed, we discovered this week that we are not registered with the Commission as interested parties to this dispute, so we were not invited to make representations regarding this parade, how incredible is that?

"Week after week and in particular around this time of year they issue determinations which impact on the PUL (Protestant, unionist, loyalist) community. It is time for our politicians to stand up and be counted and remind government that this issue will not be going away."

Mr Hewitt urged Secretary of State Karen Bradley to reconvene "meaningful discussions" in a bid to resolve the long-standing dispute.

The annual Drumcree Parade has been banned from marching down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for the last 20 years. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker

The annual Orange Order parade at Drumcree. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker

 A church service as part of the annual Drumcree parade. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker

Orangemen talk to police during the annual Drumcree parade. Picture by Arthur Allison

The annual Drumcree Parade has been banned from marching down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown for the last 20 years. Picture by Arthur Allison

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